Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Morning Brief: Evening Standard reports James Murdoch has resigned from the board of News Int'l; Google conducts some 'spring cleaning', shutting down services

The Evening Standard is reporting this morning that James Murdoch, son of the the chairman of the board, and the man at the center of the phone hacking scandal in the U.K., has resigned his position as director on the board of News International.

The resignation, if confirmed, follows another appearance in front of a committee of Parliament where the News International executive was aggressively questioned concerning his role in the scandal that led to the closing of News of the World.

"Because it is inescapable that there will be some kind of censure from the Culture, Media and Sport select committee, it is inevitable that people will say maybe you've got too much on your plate, it makes sense to step back from some of the roles," Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, told the Evening Standard.

It should be noted that as of 8:30 EST no other news outlets are currently confirming this report from the U.K. newspaper.

The AP is reporting that Australian police are investigating the allegations of a former senator, Bill O'Chee, who recently said told police that he was offered favorable news coverage and "a special relationship" in return for voting against proposed government legislation.

"I believed that (he) was clearly implying that News Corp. would run news stories or editorial content concerning any issue I wanted if I was to cross the floor and oppose the ... legislation," O'Chee said in his statement according to the AP story.

Google announced yesterday that it was conducting more "spring cleaning" by closing down some services. Those services including Google Bookmarks Lists, Google Friend Connect, Google Gears (though this was actually announced in March), and Google Wave.

Google Wave, which garnered a lot of attention at launch, has failed to live up to the hype. It was previously announced that the service would be closed down, but now it is known that as of January 31, 2012, Wave will become read-only and users won’t be able to create new ones. On April 30 Google will turn Wave off completely.